Business Transformation Requires Transformational Leaders

Leadership and teaming skills are front and center in times of rapid change. Meet today’s constant disruption head on with expert guidance in leadership, business strategy, transformation, and innovation. Whether the disruption du jour is a digitally-driven upending of traditional business models, the pandemic-driven end to business as usual, or the change-driven challenge of staffing that meets your transformation plans—you’ll be prepared with cutting edge techniques and expert knowledge that enable strategic leadership.

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This Advisor enumerates classic leadership mistakes made in turbulent times: approaches and behaviors that are easily fallen into but must be avoided. It also provides guidance on what leaders can do instead to adapt to this turbulence.

Avoiding Classic Mistakes

Turbulent times don’t always bring out our wisdom; sometimes just the opposite:

Linda A. Patterson talks about the strength that women of color possess that “stems from endurance, perseverance, and survivorship.” Given their many roles in the workplace, home, and community, women of color excel at managing, creating, innovating, strategizing, and multitasking. These skills are often additive to their formal education and specializations. So why aren’t they being given an equitable seat at the table? Why do we still have low percentages of women of color in technology jobs, senior-level positions, and board roles? Patterson suggests five steps toward offering “equitable opportunities for women of color in a meaningful, sustainable, and measurable way.”
Eli Doster shares that having a broken culture was not only terrible for staff at his company, it was also costly and had a negative impact on business. Five years ago, the company lacked values employees could believe in, which affected their decisions and actions. Furthermore, the company lacked “diversity of cultures, ethnicity, and perspective.” Doster talks about the signals that enabled its leaders to identify these problems and describes how they implemented the changes that transformed the culture and improved their overall results.
David S. Lee “offers an on-the-ground perspective of how diversity policies encounter issues once they leave home shores.” He examines the construction of diversity policies along with relocation issues that come up and provides ways to enhance diversity policies in a more holistic way that considers cultural contexts.
Timicka Anderson and Philip Fitzgerald highlight why diversity is both a strength and a priority at Citibank, a global bank committed to DEI. The authors explain the impact to the bottom line when companies increase access to nontraditional ways to pursue careers, rather than relying on traditional pathways. Anderson and Fitzgerald emphasize that “upskilling, the practice of facilitating continuous learning by providing training programs and development opportunities that expand an individual’s abilities, is key.”
Matthew Walsh explores the results of in-depth research conducted to identify the inequities that women of color experience in the technology industry. He begins his piece by pointing out the “occupational segregation” that exists in the workplace with the underrepresentation of Black, Latino, and American Indian women in fast-growing sectors. To help mitigate this concern Walsh offers the Equation for Equality, a tool employers can use “to expand their talent pool in a low-risk way by identifying workers outside a given sector who use a similar skill set to the one required by an open position.”
Rohini Anand explains that a “willingness to expose oneself to experiences outside one’s home country to truly understand local cultures and geopolitical contexts without judgement” is at the core of global DEI competency. By doing this, we can be authentically curious about other cultures and continuously learn. Anand also encourages us to be strategic about integrating that global mindset and intellectual curiosity into our work.
This issue of Amplify contains six articles written by executives, researchers, and professionals with vast experience and knowledge on the topic of equity versus equality. The first two articles provide global perspectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The third contains cutting-edge research that shows the reality of equity in many companies. The final three pieces describe best practices that companies have deployed to create a more equitable on-ramp as well as advancement opportunities for all employees, with a focus on women of color.